Do not attend TJSL

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twenty
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby twenty » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:03 pm

The good news is, everyone who went to TJSL was in the top 5% of their class. So it's totally viable to take out tons of debt to go to a TTT school, since after all, you'll basically be a shoe-in at BigLaw.

Brassica7
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby Brassica7 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:31 pm

shoeshine wrote:TBF: Law school in general is a bad/risky investment.

TJLS is just at the riskiest end of the spectrum. It is the C grade junk bonds of the law school market (think of HYS as AAA+). So someone with a low appetite for risk should not buy (attend) the riskiest investment (school). However, that doesn't mean that there aren't people out there that want to undertake the risk of going to a school like TJLS. Its entire existence is a function of the market place. There are some people that want to go to law school but can't achieve the grades necessary to attend a T1. As long as they understand the risks I think they should be allowed and possibly encouraged to go.

I agree that, like any investment, TJLS should have to report accurate numbers so that students (investors) can make wise decisions. A few years ago I would have said that the information that people were getting about TJLS was completely false and they were border line performing fraud. However, now the tables have turned and there is more negative information out there about TJLS than positive. If you don't believe me just Google "Thomas Jefferson Law School" and look at the results on the first page. Between Paul Campos, NYT Articles, Scam Blogs, Threads on TLS, and Abovethelaw there is a ton of information available about the bar passage rates and employment prospects of TJLS. Any student who understands this information and still decides to attend is doing it at their own risk and we should not judge them for their decision.

I actually know someone who attends TJLS (which is more than the other people in this thread can say). She claims that most of the people in her class (1Ls) understood the job prospects coming into TJLS. Everyone has their own plan about what to do. Some people are gunning. Others plan on relying on family connections and others want to pursue things outside of law.

The point is that it is unfair to assume that all of the people choosing to attend TJLS aren't aware of the job prospects before entering. And if they are aware of that then they have made an informed decision that we really have no business judging them for. It is sort of elitist to deny people access to the practice of law based on our perceptions about whether they are making a good financial choice.


I disagree with most of this.

First, the analogy is misleading. Junk bonds are high risk investments, but also command a high rate of return. They are therefore reasonable investments for people willing to take on substantial risk for the opportunity to grow their investments quickly. TJ is very high risk, but also low reward. Winning at TJ means making far less money/having fewer career and geographic options than those provided by the AAA-equivalent schools. TJ is both high risk and low return. Such investments do not exist naturally in a free marketplace, and are not similar to junk bonds.

Second, the government is involved in these risky investments (attending a school like TJ) because it backs the loans. It shouldn't be. If people want to invest their own savings to attend TJ (or could find a private lender to loan the money, with some process for discharging the loans in bankruptcy), then fine. The government shouldn't give people money to speculate in the stock/bond markets, and neither should it support students attending law schools where most students will never have the chance to work as attorneys.

The free-market apparatus is broken because the government gives students tuition checks without the risk/reward calculation that a rational lender would make. This is not the case with junk bond investors. If TJ was completely open about the job opportunities from its school (posting prominently on its website/mailings that most of its students never get jobs as attorneys) then I might be okay with it existing if people still wanted to attend.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby Tom Joad » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:03 pm

Would people please refrain from referring to Thomas Jefferson as TJ. I don't want to be confused with that scam.

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splitbrain
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby splitbrain » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:07 pm

Tom Joad wrote:Would people please refrain from referring to Thomas Jefferson as TJ. I don't want to be confused with that scam.

I thought we were talking about Tijuana.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby TaipeiMort » Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:31 pm

splitbrain wrote:
Tom Joad wrote:Would people please refrain from referring to Thomas Jefferson as TJ. I don't want to be confused with that scam.

I thought we were talking about Tijuana.


Incidentally, unlike our friend in this thread from the TJLS office "who ended up in Biglaw," TJLS grads may find Tijuana a good option once loan payments come due. They can return home frequently to see their families in San Diego as well.

Andy Dufresne would agree:

Image

Image

shoeshine
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby shoeshine » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:29 pm

Brassica7 wrote:
I disagree with most of this.

First, the analogy is misleading. Junk bonds are high risk investments, but also command a high rate of return. They are therefore reasonable investments for people willing to take on substantial risk for the opportunity to grow their investments quickly. TJ is very high risk, but also low reward. Winning at TJ means making far less money/having fewer career and geographic options than those provided by the AAA-equivalent schools. TJ is both high risk and low return. Such investments do not exist naturally in a free marketplace, and are not similar to junk bonds.

Wrong. The unlikely but possible payout of TJLS is Big Law. As another poster has mentioned in this thread, it is not impossible to go to TJLS, transfer, and then get big law. It is obviously unlikely but just like a junk bond there is a high rate of return possible to at least a few TJLS students.

Brassica7 wrote:Second, the government is involved in these risky investments (attending a school like TJ) because it backs the loans. It shouldn't be. If people want to invest their own savings to attend TJ (or could find a private lender to loan the money, with some process for discharging the loans in bankruptcy), then fine. The government shouldn't give people money to speculate in the stock/bond markets, and neither should it support students attending law schools where most students will never have the chance to work as attorneys.

The free-market apparatus is broken because the government gives students tuition checks without the risk/reward calculation that a rational lender would make. This is not the case with junk bond investors. If TJ was completely open about the job opportunities from its school (posting prominently on its website/mailings that most of its students never get jobs as attorneys) then I might be okay with it existing if people still wanted to attend.


I agree with your point here (see my response here: http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=182263&start=64) But you are talking about larger education financial reform not just TTT law schools. I would argue that for profit entities (University of Phoenix, etc) are worse in some ways that TTT law schools.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby TaipeiMort » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:32 pm

I am going to say that I still don't think Lawl School is a real person.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:33 pm

If the govt. were to stop guaranteeing student loans for law school applicants, what would the ramifications be for top 100 schools?

I would imagine the pool of applicants would shrink drastically, as private money would obviously shy away from the "investment of a legal education."

Surely public interest types would still be able to attend law school--- new programs could be developed at the individual schools to admit a certain number of students a year who 1) want PI and 2) are good candidates for need-based aid.

I could see the applicant pool shrink by 60%, schools like mine would have to cut spots by 25%, schools in the second tier by up to 50%, in some cases schools outside the top 100 would melt away in 4-5 years. Obviously, there would be great resistance to this idea, including from legal academia which would have to shrink accordingly. But, wouldn't this bring equilibrium to the market within a few years? All without forcing the ABA to do a thing. It would take a long time to develop the grassroots political organization, but if the ducks could be lined up it would take only six months to get through committees and to the floor for a vote, likely packaged with a bunch of other shit, of course.

Is Fannie Mae the biggest stumbling block here?

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flem
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby flem » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:53 pm

shoeshine wrote:Wrong. The unlikely but possible payout of TJLS is Big Law. As another poster has mentioned in this thread, it is not impossible to go to TJLS, transfer, and then get big law. It is obviously unlikely but just like a junk bond there is a high rate of return possible to at least a few TJLS students.



Then that's not "out of TJLS", that's "I used TJLS as a stepping stone to transfer somewhere with actual job prospects after winning the curve lottery"

Even if you landed BigLaw out of TJLS, 98% of the students (optimism!) won't. With an entering class size of 400 people, 392 won't get a job that would allow them to service 153K worth of debt adequately. Therefore, for the overwhelming majority of people it's a terrible fucking investment. That's not a calculated risk. It's just objectively retarded.

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splitbrain
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby splitbrain » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:11 pm

flem wrote:Even if you landed BigLaw out of TJLS, 98% of the students (optimism!) won't. With an entering class size of 400 people, 392 won't get a job that would allow them to service 153K worth of debt adequately. Therefore, for the overwhelming majority of people it's a terrible fucking investment. That's not a calculated risk. It's just objectively retarded.

The argument is even more complicated than that: a ton of those people don't even make it through their first year. TJSL loses almost 1/3 of its 1Ls every year. So that's, what, $50k for a wasted year? What do those people even do with the exception of the few who transfer? I didn't even bother looking up 2L attrition.

ETA: Does that ABA attrition data include transfers? I know it specifically lists transfers elsewhere on the data sheets, so I wasn't sure. Still... I don't believe it does: UPenn had 7 transfers and 0 1L attrition, for example.
Last edited by splitbrain on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby moneybagsphd » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:11 pm

TaipeiMort wrote:I am going to say that I still don't think Lawl School is a real person.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby Bildungsroman » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:14 pm

Just hustle and network, bro, and remember that your school only determines where you get your first job. After that it's smooth sailing on a wave of astroglide through an ocean of easy lays and extra-large wallets.

DTDT
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby DTDT » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:50 pm

Brassica7 wrote:
shoeshine wrote:TBF: Law school in general is a bad/risky investment.

TJLS is just at the riskiest end of the spectrum. It is the C grade junk bonds of the law school market (think of HYS as AAA+). So someone with a low appetite for risk should not buy (attend) the riskiest investment (school). However, that doesn't mean that there aren't people out there that want to undertake the risk of going to a school like TJLS. Its entire existence is a function of the market place. There are some people that want to go to law school but can't achieve the grades necessary to attend a T1. As long as they understand the risks I think they should be allowed and possibly encouraged to go.

I agree that, like any investment, TJLS should have to report accurate numbers so that students (investors) can make wise decisions. A few years ago I would have said that the information that people were getting about TJLS was completely false and they were border line performing fraud. However, now the tables have turned and there is more negative information out there about TJLS than positive. If you don't believe me just Google "Thomas Jefferson Law School" and look at the results on the first page. Between Paul Campos, NYT Articles, Scam Blogs, Threads on TLS, and Abovethelaw there is a ton of information available about the bar passage rates and employment prospects of TJLS. Any student who understands this information and still decides to attend is doing it at their own risk and we should not judge them for their decision.

I actually know someone who attends TJLS (which is more than the other people in this thread can say). She claims that most of the people in her class (1Ls) understood the job prospects coming into TJLS. Everyone has their own plan about what to do. Some people are gunning. Others plan on relying on family connections and others want to pursue things outside of law.

The point is that it is unfair to assume that all of the people choosing to attend TJLS aren't aware of the job prospects before entering. And if they are aware of that then they have made an informed decision that we really have no business judging them for. It is sort of elitist to deny people access to the practice of law based on our perceptions about whether they are making a good financial choice.


I disagree with most of this.

First, the analogy is misleading. Junk bonds are high risk investments, but also command a high rate of return. They are therefore reasonable investments for people willing to take on substantial risk for the opportunity to grow their investments quickly. TJ is very high risk, but also low reward. Winning at TJ means making far less money/having fewer career and geographic options than those provided by the AAA-equivalent schools. TJ is both high risk and low return. Such investments do not exist naturally in a free marketplace, and are not similar to junk bonds.

Second, the government is involved in these risky investments (attending a school like TJ) because it backs the loans. It shouldn't be. If people want to invest their own savings to attend TJ (or could find a private lender to loan the money, with some process for discharging the loans in bankruptcy), then fine. The government shouldn't give people money to speculate in the stock/bond markets, and neither should it support students attending law schools where most students will never have the chance to work as attorneys.

The free-market apparatus is broken because the government gives students tuition checks without the risk/reward calculation that a rational lender would make. This is not the case with junk bond investors. If TJ was completely open about the job opportunities from its school (posting prominently on its website/mailings that most of its students never get jobs as attorneys) then I might be okay with it existing if people still wanted to attend.


+1

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BarcaCrossesTheAlps
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby BarcaCrossesTheAlps » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:42 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:Just hustle and network, bro, and remember that your school only determines where you get your first job. After that it's smooth sailing on a wave of astroglide through an ocean of easy lays and extra-large wallets.



I would love to believe this. I just think it's a little too saccharin and oversimplified. Of course, you could be kidding, which means I'm slow on the up-take. :)

Brassica7
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby Brassica7 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:07 pm

shoeshine wrote:
Brassica7 wrote:
I disagree with most of this.

First, the analogy is misleading. Junk bonds are high risk investments, but also command a high rate of return. They are therefore reasonable investments for people willing to take on substantial risk for the opportunity to grow their investments quickly. TJ is very high risk, but also low reward. Winning at TJ means making far less money/having fewer career and geographic options than those provided by the AAA-equivalent schools. TJ is both high risk and low return. Such investments do not exist naturally in a free marketplace, and are not similar to junk bonds.

Wrong. The unlikely but possible payout of TJLS is Big Law. As another poster has mentioned in this thread, it is not impossible to go to TJLS, transfer, and then get big law. It is obviously unlikely but just like a junk bond there is a high rate of return possible to at least a few TJLS students.


Yes, it is possible to get biglaw from TJSL, but I still believe it is misleading to compare this school to a junk bond. With a junk bond, the riskier the investment, the higher the rate of return. With law schools, the worse they get, the greater the likelihood of unemployment without a corresponding increase in potential benefit (in fact, the potential benefit just shrinks). If TJSL were like a junk bond, very few students would succeed, but those who did would make way more than biglaw salaries. This, clearly, is not the case. It is therefore too generous to compare attending TJSL to reasonable investments such as junk bonds.

ahnhub
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby ahnhub » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:53 am

while it's true there can't be true market correction when people are playing with unlimited monopoly money, the negative information is having a pretty big impact on at least the applicant pool. There were 130,000 LSATs taken this year. If you apply the same ratio of LSATS Administered-to-Applicants (1.96) that happened in 2010 and 2011, that equals 66,000 law school applicants. That is the lowest number within the past decade by 16,000 people, and probably the lowest number in the past 20 yrs.

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romothesavior
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby romothesavior » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:44 am

ahnhub wrote:while it's true there can't be true market correction when people are playing with unlimited monopoly money, the negative information is having a pretty big impact on at least the applicant pool. There were 130,000 LSATs taken this year. If you apply the same ratio of LSATS Administered-to-Applicants (1.96) that happened in 2010 and 2011, that equals 66,000 law school applicants. That is the lowest number within the past decade by 16,000 people, and probably the lowest number in the past 20 yrs.

I have had a lot of conversations on this topic with someone who is very in the know about the topic, and they have indicated to me that some schools (such as TJ) might have trouble 4-5 years from now if the smaller applicant numbers persist. They predict that these problems may even lead to some schools closing due to financial trouble. These schools already admit just about anyone with a functional brain, but they may have to start admitting just about anyone with a functional pulse to stay afloat. There are still a LOT of naive and misinformed prospective students, but on the whole they are becoming smarter. If they stay smarter, it will be hard for these turd schools to stay open. The bubble may be bursting. I guess that is yet to be seen.

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alwayssunnyinfl
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby alwayssunnyinfl » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:34 am

TLS Profile wrote:
Employment Prospects

In 2008, 92 percent of TJSL students were known to be employed within nine months of graduation. Of those known to be working, 65 percent worked in California, with the rest spread evenly throughout the country. 2008 graduates of TJSL earned a median salary of $65,000 in the private sector and $60,000 in the public sector. Current students at TJSL claim the Tier 4 ranking of the school hurts students’ chances at finding a job, but that the career services center works extremely hard to place them. For big law firm jobs, current students say you’ll need to be in the top 5 percent of your graduating class. The alumni base is both relatively successful and large in San Diego, and TJSL graduates take advantage of alumni connections for employment prospects.

Conclusion

Thomas Jefferson School of Law offers a beautiful location, new facilities, a dedicated faculty and the opportunity to study and lay your roots in San Diego. Unfortunately, the school also comes with an expensive price tag, over $130,000 in law school-related debt and a below-average bar-passage rate. Even so, for a student who wishes to study and work in San Diego, TJSL can be an acceptable choice. The opening of the new facilities will likely continue to improve Thomas Jefferson School of Law.



For the love of god, can someone please change this?

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alwayssunnyinfl
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Re: Do not attend TJSL

Postby alwayssunnyinfl » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:34 am

moneybagsphd wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:I am going to say that I still don't think Lawl School is a real person.




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